Review: Blue Microphone’s enCore 100 and 200

Review: Blue Microphone's enCore 100 and 200

Blue has long made studio mikes and other devices like the Blue Eyeball web cam with a focus on quality construction and great audio.  Now they are trying to enter the live performance arena with their brand new enCore series of Microphones.  Blue was kind enough to send me samples of both the enCore 100 and the enCore 200 stage mikes.  Are they going to be good enough to unseat the venerable Shure SM57  and SM58?  Let’s find out.

Common Features

The both the enCore 100 and enCore 200 share some features in their construction.  Both mikes have heavy duty bodies made out of machined aluminum.  The grills are very thick and durable and have a reinforced ring around the middle of each mike.  These mikes are  built to take a beating as stage mikes should be.  Stage mikes can be dropped, crushed and thrown.  These mikes look like they will definitely take a beating.  Both mikes also have the Aria Dynamic Capsule.  Both mikes also have a cardoid pattern which helps reduce the amount of sound coming from the background.  Both mikes come with a very nice case that is felt lined to help protect the mike from getting all scratched up.

Review: Blue Microphone's enCore 100 and 200  Review: Blue Microphone's enCore 100 and 200

Differences

The main differences between the two are inside.  The enCore 100 is the bare bones model and does not require phantom power.  There are no active circuits inside at all that will need to be powered.

Review: Blue Microphone's enCore 100 and 200  Review: Blue Microphone's enCore 100 and 200  Review: Blue Microphone's enCore 100 and 200

The enCore 200 is equipped with a active dynamic circuit, has transformed output and requires phantom power.  It’s the closest to my AT-2020.

Review: Blue Microphone's enCore 100 and 200  Review: Blue Microphone's enCore 100 and 200  Review: Blue Microphone's enCore 100 and 200  Review: Blue Microphone's enCore 100 and 200

How do they sound?

I have been most impressed with how these mikes have performed with the Blue Icicle interface as well as with my mixer.  With my Mixer, I record with a Behringer UCA-202 USB sound interface.  I was very happy with the quality in both of these setups.  The sound is very good.  For an example of the sound, click here.

You can also tune into any of the last three episodes of the Linux Link Tech Show to hear how they sound on a podcast.  With the exception of when I first get on the call, the audio has been flawless through the show.  In fact, I have gotten some great compliments from some of the listeners when using these microphones.

Who should get these mikes?

First and foremost, these are stage mikes and they are designed with live performance in mind.  So they would be best used in arenas, small venues and anywhere live audio performance is happening.  Your church should really consider these as they will take a beating.  If they happen to be bobbled when putting them away, they should survive the fall and for a church, this would be great since they have little money to spend on audio equipment.

I also think they will work well for podcast and home studio recording.  Yes podcast recording is usually inside in a home office or spare bedroom and a much quieter environment, but since there’s lots of extraneous noise in a home studio, the pattern will help eliminate the background noise if the mixer is properly adjusted.

Blue sent me samples of these Microphones and I thank them very much for letting me keep the microphones.  I use them every night on the Linux Link Tech Show.

The Blue Microphone enCore 100 is available on Amazon.com for $99.99.

The Blue Microphone enCore 200 microphone is also avialable on Amazon.com for $149.99.

Fore more information, check out Blue’s enCore website at bluemic.com.

About the Author

Joel McLaughlin
Joel is a consultant in the IT field and is located in Columbus, OH. While he loves Linux and tends to use it more than anything else, he will stoop to running closed source if it is the best tool for the job. His techno passions are Linux, Android, netbooks, GPS, podcasting and Amateur Radio.

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